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Young adult son boundaries
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Lou789654 · 15/09/2022 15:36

Hi, can anyone give me a bit of advice about boundaries. I'm a divorced single parent. My partner moved in with us about a year ago. My son who is 19 is getting quite disrespectful. He and his girlfriend are at our house all the time whenever he isn't at work. Last year I asked him to eat a couple of times a week at his girlfriends house as I didn't think it was fair us feeding them both all week. Also asked if he could spend one evening a week at her house so we get some time to ourselves. He begrudgingly agreed after quite a fall out with me but he has done this until recently when he said hes not doing it any more!

She sleeps here maybe once a week. If they go out into town get drunk and come back here to sleep (last few times very late, drunk and thrown up everywhere) he never sleeps at her house - the last time they asked, her dad said he'd put up the airbed in the spare room! They sleep together at our house. They sometimes have a bath together and even when my son goes for a shower the gf follows him in there to talk to him while hes in the shower! I know this wouldn't happen at her house! On days I'm not cooking they buy food to cook here - never at her house. With bills going up I don't think it should be one sided. Her parents are well off.

I told him he has it good at our house but he said not really it's just a roof. I tried to explain the things he can do here but he says I just want rid of him and if he could afford it he'd move out.

How can I make him see I'm not being unreasonable? Or am I? I know it's his home but it's my house. My mum thinks I shouldn't make him go !
I also do all his washing etc , If I am going out I tell him but I get no communication about what he is doing!

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Bonbon21 · 15/09/2022 15:53

So he wants to be an adult without the responsibilities.
Does he pay rent?
Why do you do his laundry?
Does he help with housework... cooking, hoovering, cleaning the bathroom, shopping?
If not... why not?...
He respects the house rules... your rules... or finds a better deal somewhere else...
He is SO entitled!!!

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Minecraftmini · 15/09/2022 15:55

I agree that if he doesn't already, he needs to pay rent. His GF also needs to pay rent.

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Lou789654 · 15/09/2022 16:08

Yes he pays rent. Currently £150 / month. He puts his washing in the bin so it just gets washed along with other stuff. I work evenings part time and he works long hours but now the disrespect is coming in like he expects it. He does his own shopping but obviously not for family meals when I cook. He moans about cleaning the shower! He rarely washes the pots now. If he washes their cars at the weekend I ask him to do mine but he "never has time" I feel it should be a bit more if I do stuff for him he does a few bits back for me.

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Yesthatismychildsigh · 15/09/2022 16:14

Tell him the girlfriend is to visit no more than once or twice per week. AND STICK TO IT. Don’t do his washing and tell him exactly why.

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PurpleBlis · 15/09/2022 16:17

I would just up his rent rather than try to change his staying and eating habits.

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TwowaystoUrmston · 15/09/2022 16:40

It's time for the 'you're not a child anymore and it's time we had a more adult relationship' talk OP, he's behaving like an entitled brat and hasn't yet realised that his grown up relationship with you requires some give as well as take from him.

He needs to understand two things to begin with, that you are no longer obliged to house him, he is not a dependent child anymore. And that adults who share a house have to contribute and cooperate in order for it to work, if he can't do that then he needs to move out.

I do think some kids struggle with that transition from dependent child to functioning adult so I'd give him a chance to sort himself out after you've talked but if you're clear about what's expected of him he has no excuse for not doing it. Pick out the things you feel are most important and make them hard boundaries on the understanding that if he doesn't stick to them he will need to find somewhere else to live.

Sounds harsh but you'll be doing him no favours letting him carry on taking the piss, time for him to grow up.

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Lou789654 · 16/09/2022 09:17

Thanks. I know you're right but I'm made to feel like I should be letting him do what he wants as it's his home. (Not just him but other family members) I have tried to sit down and talk to him but he's trying to say it makes no difference if he's home with his gf all week and why should I ask him to spend time at her house!

I don't think I'm mean or asking for too much. I do think he's not really grasping the process of not being a child any more.

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Isaidnoalready · 16/09/2022 09:23

Stop doing his washing and cooking for him start cutting back hard on what you do when he says it's just a house tell him if it's so easy he can do it by himself if he says you just want rid of him ask him what exactly he brings to the table? Bigger bills a lot of mess and a ton of attitude

Honestly he needs to leave and try living alone

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Luredbyapomegranate · 16/09/2022 09:33

up his rent / chores if you need do.

You can limit how often his girlfriend is in your house, but you can’t insist he goes to hers. It’s his home and he is paying rent.

So just say you will only have her 2 nights a week or whatever, and stick to that.

There’s no point getting annoyed about her family not doing their fair share. You can’t control that / you don’t know the circumstances / it’s none of your business.

I can see why you are in a tangle with him because you are being both reasonable and unreasonable - focus on the rules in your house, not worrying about other people’s. If he doesn’t like your rules then he can move out.

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puddingandsun · 16/09/2022 09:54

"Last year I asked him to eat a couple of times a week at his girlfriends house as I didn't think it was fair us feeding them both all week. Also asked if he could spend one evening a week at her house so we get some time to ourselves. "


To me it does sound like you're trying to get rid of him. Is that what may be your new partner expects?

To me 19 is young and it's reasonable to expect things to happen gradually and not to force things/ expect an adult relationship with your kids straightaway.

But I'm foreign and I have quite a different view it seems on the issue. My sisters stayed with my parents until they started living with their partners (21 and 25yo respectively). Their children (In their 20s) are young adults and staying with their parents, while working and saving to buy. When I go back to my home country I stay with my parents and it is my only home there. No one ever considered paying rent to any of their parents, at any point. There are many ways to share financial burdens, chores, etc. as a family.

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Lou789654 · 16/09/2022 13:18

Thank you. I have tried saying that his gf doesn't actually live here and she could come less times a week but that apparently was taken as she's not welcome here! She has taken offence to it and so has he. I feel like I can't say anything without being wrong. He says no one else he knows has rules or can't take gf round every day!

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Lou789654 · 16/09/2022 13:26

@puddingandsun I'm not trying to get rid of him. He has a very well paid job! He pays very little rent and when I am struggling with bills why shouldn't he pay towards them?

He doesn't do much around the house so not sharing the burden. I have never said he can't live here, so not sure why your reference to you staying with parents is relevant? Most young adults pay something towards the bills if they can afford to do so. It's teaching them responsibility. Obviously if I was rich I probably wouldn't mind.

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iwannascream · 16/09/2022 13:35

I have one young adult at home and they pay 3 times what your son does, so firstly I would be upping his portion of board. It is still cheaper than having to rent on their own or flat share. If they don't get used to paying for rent etc, it will be such a shock when they move out. I paid board to my parents many many years ago and didn't mind in the least.

I don't give my kids at home chores to do , but I will expect them to help me with dishes, cooking, hanging out washing etc when I ask.

Sit down with them and explain that things need to change, you need a hand with chores and as they need to pay the going rate to stay at home and use all the facilities.

Good luck

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Irridescantshimmmer · 16/09/2022 13:36

Ask them to pay rent, money does not grow on trees and the country is right in thr middle of the cost of living rise.

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Paq · 16/09/2022 13:39

It's time for him to move into a house share. His flatmates won't be any more tolerant than you.

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Creepymanonagoatfarm · 16/09/2022 13:42

Ime you need to be straight telling him her being there isn't working.
Dd's gf once locked his bedroom door and took the key with her. Ds had left earlier for work. She would hang around when he wasn't even in.
One morning she walked past dh doing the dishes, made herself a cuppa then plonked the dirty cup in the water for dh to wash!!

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DifficultBloodyWoman · 16/09/2022 13:42

If he wants the equal rights that come with a house share (as opposed to living at home with mum), then he needs to accept the responsibilities as well.

It sounds like there are three residents (you, him and your DP). Therefore everything gets split three ways - cleaning, cooking, shopping, bills etc.

I understand if you don’t want DP paying towards certain things like the mortgage but if he is a decent partner, then he will understand your motivation and either play along or pick up the slack in other areas.

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wackamole · 16/09/2022 14:21

I told him he has it good at our house but he said not really it's just a roof. I tried to explain the things he can do here but he says I just want rid of him and if he could afford it he'd move out. If it's "just a roof", why isn't it an option for him to move out? I'm not saying he necessarily should, but surely it's not true that he can't afford it. If you're providing "just a roof", surely he'd have the same costs and benefits if he, for example, rented a room from one of your neighbours or lived in a local share house?

He seems to want to regard the living arrangement as a business arrangement, so treat it as such. Imagine if he DID move out and you and your partner were struggling economically. What would you charge a boarder who wanted to rent the room your son is currently using? Higher rent, a share of utilities, share of food costs? You probably would not simply do your boarder's laundry as a routine matter. And, of course, you would have rules like not coming in drunk late at night, or cleaning up your own vomit. If your son did move out and live with housemates, they would have such rules and expectations too.

He says no one else he knows has rules or can't take gf round every day! Clearly this is untrue, or he would be welcome at his gf's parents' house every day.

All of that said, I do think the request that he spend one day/night a week away from the house or that he spend certain amounts of time at his girlfriend's house is too controlling. If he lives at your house, that's his home. You can restrict visitors, but you may need to find ways to get privacy within the house when he's home it's not convenient, affordable, or desirable to do "date nights" out.

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orbitalcrisis · 16/09/2022 14:51

If it's just a roof treat him like any lodger. He needs to pay an equal share of the bills, buy his own food, pay proper rent, do his own laundry, do his fare share of cleaning and follow your rules.

Bills are to be split equally by all in the house. If the girlfriend stays 6 nights a week, she pays for a quarter of the bills for all but 4/5 days a month. A cleaning rota must be followed or you will charge him the going rate for doing his share (about £15/hr). That sort of thing.

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erikbloodaxe · 16/09/2022 16:19

OP. 'My partner moved in about a year ago'.....that is where your problems with your son stem from. Put yourself in your son's shoes.

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Lou789654 · 16/09/2022 17:22

@iwannascream thank you

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